Joseph Michael Anderson

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since Nov 19, 2018
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forest garden homestead tiny house
Olympic Penninsula
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Recent posts by Joseph Michael Anderson

So, i think your installers are following generally good practice, by having the rack face toward the equator (north for you) and at an angle nearly yout latitude, you will improve the total production of electricity.
1) you say excess electricity is returned to the grid, is it sold back, if so you are maximizing your payback

2) some of us with off-grid systems set our angles to maximize winter electricity knowing that we will still get an increase in electricity in summer (just not as much).  This makes our daily homemade electric supply vary less but reduces overall production.  On grid the winter angle is not an optimal strategy, maximizing total production is better.

3) unless you get a lot of cloudy weather (more than half the days) then the angle of your roof is too shallow for making the most of your panels potential.

4) if you can time your power usage to use 30-40% of your battery by the morning, your panels,at peak can get them recharged right away,  better than draining the batteries in the evening and having them sit at less than 100% charge overnight.  



6 days ago
Was just talking about this over in the "Working Alone" thread.  

"1) I endorse the emphasis on safety.  It doesn't take long to bleed to unconsciousness.  Get used to the idea that its better to send a false alarm then for someone to find you dead from a missing toe.  If its deeper than an inch, or the puddle is bigger than a pancake or it burbles up like a clogged water-fountain, take a ride in an ambulance, let them decide how bad it is. "




So this came up with regards to taking down trees using straps, but is applicable in other situations with tension:

If you are going to work with lines under tension remember  (chains, ropes, straps, cables), if they are under-tension they can be storing a tremendous amount of force, which can, if they snap, accelerate the now-free ends faster than anyone can react.  You won't know its happened until its over.  I've seen a 5" diameter tree CUT IN HALF by a snapped chain from a tractor pulling a second tractor out of mud. Sounded like an explosion.   I have heard about people getting cut in half by snapped cables.
So...
1) know the rated capacities of every part that is under tension, from pulleys, to shackles to nuts and bolts.
2) put a shear-bolt, or put the weakest link in your system where you want it to fail, so that if something goes wrong, the failure point is known and the failure doesn't put you in danger.   I put my shear bolt right at the stationary end of the come-along, and that is right next to the tree I'm felling. If it snaps, the come-along is pulled away from me toward one anchor tree, and the other end is pulled away from me, around the target tree and toward the other anchor tree.
3) Use a tension guage so you can stay well bellow the rated tension.  in a system where 1.5 tons in the lowest rated part, I use about 500lbs of tension.  that is plenty on a small tree. This does not replace properly planning your hinge-cut, and it is not a good way to cope with a large tree that is leaning.  this is for a tree where there isn't enough diameter to get a wedge in.  



Also:  Lock out/Tag Out.  You think you're working alone.  but is some "helpful" person going to turn the water or power back on while you are fiddling with the system.  This almost happened with my electric fence.  I'm solo homesteading but I live in a small neighborhood of about 30 homes up on a low ridge.   I'm replacing two fence posts, have the electric fence turned off.  I come back up the hill to see my neighbor and his dog staring at my energizer and he says "hey, how do I restart this, your fence is off!" I guess he noticed the clicking sound was gone and he was, what, going to reboot it like a computer?  Anyway now I leave notes on things, even if 99% of the time no one is going read them.

One last danger issue:  fire and tiny houses.  I live in 105sqft tiny house.  I sleep by the door, i have two fire extinguishers and a smoke/CO2 detector and no sources of combustion (all appliances are electric, arc-fault breakered, I keep flamables in a shed, etc.  I still practice fire-drills and time them. I use a phone app called "Randomly RemindMe" to surprise myself.    Poisonous fumes from fire can kill very quickly in an enclosed space.  I used to work in chemistry before retiring to homesteading.  Its why i won't go near any of that home-brew Biodiesel preps or wood vinegar stills stuff.  We don't have as much control as our fancy blue-prints suggest.  Real materials and dirty mixtures are not 100% predictable. That 1% risk  re-rolled every day or every week is a funeral in the futre.

On a happier note, most of homesteading actually improves your health, your fitness, your happiness and your survival chances... so just be cautious and enjoy.
2 weeks ago
Seems like the OP is suggesting dry land grains (wheat,/hulless oats).  A test plot could be made: 2 or three rows the conventiona way for each grain.   Then a suitable gap and 2 or three  "rows" of, say maybe 5 seeds with  clusters spaced with maybe 24"   then 2 or,3 rows of 10 seeds with clusters spaced maybe 48" or something like that.    It might take a few rounds to get the seeds per cluster and cluster distances fine-tuned and compare it to the conventional yield.

Also, so what if,the conventional yield is higher: if the cluster method,reduces labor,or avoids heavy machinery etc. it might still,be worth it.  Conventional Ag is unsustainable.  Maybe this lets us have grain at twice the price instead of 4 times the price.

I say go for it.
I was going to start a threat about this, but I saw your thread, and...

1) I endorse the emphasis on safety.  It doesn't take long to bleed to unconsciousness.  Get used to the idea that its better to send a false alarm then for someone to find you dead from a missing toe.  If its deeper than an inch, or the puddle is bigger than a pancake or it burbles up like a clogged water-fountain, take a ride in an ambulance, let them decide how bad it is.

2) Sure, you could buy a bulldozer and hire a crew, or you can recruit your family, friends and neighbors and rent equipment, but there are times when by necessity or choice you find yourself working alone.   The Book “Working Alone” by John Carroll is excellent.  It covers residential construction. For example:  from “Working Alone” use clamps as handles to make holding and carrying plywood or cement board easier, particularly when climbing ladders.   You can even use the clamps so that you can run rope through and hoist the plywood to a roof after you’ve climbed up.

3) Some of my solo-homestead additions:  Rolling a log is 100x easier than trying to lift it.  I can roll a 400 lb log, I try to avoid lifting an 80lb one.  So I made hugel beds and raised beds by cutting large logs into 10 foot sections and rolling them. I’m on a 15% incline, so rocks as backstops allows me to take a break.  I get the logs to line up by rolling them onto a small red brick centered under the log, gets em about an inch off the ground, then I can pivot the log and continue to roll into place.  Much easier than dragging or lifting.

4) For my log-cabin shed, I could have built 14 x 14 foot square cabin.  But 14 foot logs are heavy.  Making the cabin an octagon means my sides are now 6.5 ft,  at 6 in diameter, even as fresh green Doug Fir thats about 75 lbs before I debark and scribe.  I can lift those one side at a time onto a 4’ scaffold, and from the scaffold onto the now 8ft tall wall.  Its a work out to be sure.  If you always leave one end of the object you are lifting on the ground, you are lifting only part of the weight (Tangent of Theta, where theta is the angle between the ground and the object? maybe).  Even if the end your are leaving is higher, like a log leaning against a scaffold, lifting one end and letting the scaffold bear some of the weight at the other is a big help.  

5) Don’t pick something up until you have a plan for how and where to put it down so it stays.  That plan is NOT “ I will hold this with one hand, use my other hand to hold a nail, use my other other hand to swing the hammer, and use my other other other hand to hold the level, and use my shoulder to adjust the height.”  Start the nail on the ground, tape the level to the board on the ground.  Figure out which hand is holding the hammer and where its going to grab it and set it down *before* you have joist or whatnot in hand.

6) I really like come-alongs (hand-winches, hand-pullers,) your jargon may vary.  I Rolled a 300 lb slab of cement that had been a stair landing, uphill 250ish feet  on about a dozen little 2 in branches by using a come-along, a tow strap and a series of tree-stumps.  Took over an hour, I listened to a comedic song about Stonehenge over and over while doing it.  If I'm felling a tree that is too small for wedges (because no one thinned after the last clear-cut), I use two 3000 lb capacity tow straps and a 2ton come-along to 'encourage' the tree to lean over the hinge cut. I make a "V" with the tree I'm felling at the vertex and two larger trees as anchors so that the tree falls over the hinge and between the two anchor trees.*** Safety Warning See Below***


7) Forget measuring tapes for anything bigger than 3’ use a 8ft 2x3 or 2x2.  Mark off 4’ and 6’ but keep the post 8’  or if you have a lot of the same cut at a special size (like 79”) cut one piece to that and use it.  Otherwise you will be always chasing and resetting that lose end of the tape. And outside it will get wet, get dirt in it, stop retracting and get easily lost.   Hard to loose a 2x3, and its cheaper than buying a tape.  Always keep a thick finishing nail in your pocket:  that’s your indestructible never out of ink never has a broken point pen/pencil for marking things.  Keep it always in the same pocket, for me, my right, because my cellphone is in my left pocket.  Those two are not friends.  


*** Safety Warning*** If you are going to work with lines under tension remember Chains, ropes, straps, cables, if they are under-tension, they can be storing a tremendous amount of force, which can, if they snap, accelerate the now-free ends faster than anyone can react.  You won't know its happened until its over.  I've seen a 5" diameter tree CUT IN HALF by a snapped chain from a tractor pulling a second tractor out of mud.  I have heard about people getting cut in half by snapped cables.
So...
1) know the rated capacities of every part that is under tension, from pulleys, to shackles to nuts and bolts.
2) put a shear-bolt, or put the weakest link in your system where you want it to fail, so that if something goes wrong, the failure point is known and the failure doesn't put you in danger.   I put my shear bolt right at the stationary end of the come-along, and that is right next to the tree I'm felling. If it snaps, the come-along is pulled away from me toward one anchor tree, and the other end is pulled away from me, around the target tree and toward the other anchor tree.
3) Use a tension guage so you can stay well bellow the rated tension.  in a system where 1.5 tons in the lowest rated part, I use about 500lbs of tension.  that is plenty on a small tree. This does not replace properly planning your hinge-cut, and it is not a good way to cope with a large tree that is leaning.  this is for a tree where there isn't enough diameter to get a wedge in.  
2 weeks ago
wild and,unstoppable:
Black berry, (himalayan)
Salal
Huckleberry (evergreen)
salmon berry

introduced thriving
plum (methyl, sicilian)


Thrive but disease/pest pressure building
raspberries
strawberries
apples


Struggle
peaches ( leaf curl and heat units
cherries (disease)
3 weeks ago
So like: land owner donates use of the land, assembles team of talented permies who donate labor and talent to create a profitable business which allows all involved to permacultureize with more resources than if they were solo?  Am i reading that right?  Could be good.

Might be a good idea to research some Coops and intentional communities that run businesses and see what ,kind of contracts or leases or constituions they use to ensure that everyone is working with the same understanding of who gets what from whom.  
12 acres in CT aint cheap, and theres certainly large markets willing to spend money for virtuous food in the region.  Whats your soil like?
3 weeks ago
Well, since you're already doing a lot of excavating / earthmoving machine time, you might prolong the rental or operator time and put in the tubes/loops needed.  I think its not worth it personally,  While the year,round earth temperature usually is colder than people prefer and you have to be fairly deep to avoid winter (12 ft if i recall) with all the insulation of the dry earth around you, you can probably heat your strucuture easily without geothermal.

Investing in a heat exchange ventilation system and some low power resistance ,heaters would probably be easier and lower maintenance.  you might generate enough process heat to warm the structure (cooking, body warmth, hot showers, etc)  

Im above ground but i have 6 inch of rigid foam insulation and 105sqft.  cooking and showering and my 3K calories  are plenty and as long as the temps outside are above 20F inside stays 55 and pushes 75 if im drying laundry,  

Heat exchange ventillation can be diy ( as easy as ,having your air intake run in a 4" duct inside,of your 5"  exhaust duct for about 20'.  make sure you separate your actual intake and,exhaust,vents after this common run so that you arent just inhaling your exhalations back.  smooth wall metal ducting.  )  

thats a lot cheaper than a heat pump and loops.
3 weeks ago
In PNW we left beets we had pulled on top of the ground, pulled oct 1st,  beets were great until the cehalis flooded and washed them away in late Dec.  Of course our climate is essentially a damp refridgerator so YMMV.  

Leeks and garlic overwinter well here.  Potatoes rot, and carrots too.  I would think pest pressure would build up ,if you leave too much in the ground year to year.  

Chard overwinters well (beets, again).  
3 weeks ago
And Lewis county has best the bee-keepers association in the area LCBA

I also 2nd the endorsements of burntridge and raintree nurseries.  I'm in Mason county (sandier soil, also beautiful) and i also endorse Lewis County :)
1 month ago
Portugal:  solar panels -> charge batteries,  -> cordless tools.

i cleared 1/3 ha  of douglas fir with a 14in  40volt ryobi chainsaw.  kept two batteries charging while,i used the third and rotated them.  

my tool philosophy:  buy the cheapest first,  then you'll know what you want, what breaks and how you use it, and then yoi know the best one to buy for your needs whe  the cheapest breaks.  That sounds wasteful and expensive,  but theres nothing more expensive then buying a top of the line product that sits unused once you complete the one project that needed it,  or an expensive product you break,from inexperience.   Ryobi 40v makes a wire-spinning weed trimmer and a small,tiller.  for an hectare thats probably enough.  

circular saw, chainsaw, weed trimmer, impact driver, drill,  reciprocating saw.  I agree with the previous posters:   hire operators for heavy equipment,  hire locals for big manual jobs.  my soil is rocky,  hand,digging is actually easier/faster than using all but the strongest soil-augers.  

Hand diging is also cheaper, because when the auger slides 2m and snaps the bit.... that is expensive!
1 month ago